FTA with UAE likely by March, says negotiator

A senior Commerce Ministry official spearheading the negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates said on Saturday that good progress had been achieved and the FTA was likely to be in place by March.

“We are trying to conclude the FTA by end of this year and sign the agreement by March... made good progress in this direction,” Joint Secretary Srikar K. Reddy said, addressing a meeting on exports organised by the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry. UAE is the largest national export market for India after the U.S., with exports of about $30 billion. Mr. Reddy, the lead negotiator for the FTAs under discussion with the UAE, Israel and Southern African Customs Union (SACU), said India was contemplating signing many FTAs, in addition to the existing 16, with important countries.

The FTA with Mauritius, which became operational earlier this year, was the first that India had signed in the last 10 years, he said, adding that he was the chief negotiator for that FTA. Mr. Reddy spoke on the FTA while highlighting the measures the government had initiated to facilitate exports, including the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) and the One District One Product schemes, besides an emphasis on identifying new products and markets. India is also pursuing an ambitious target of $400 billion exports this fiscal and in the six months till September achieved $198 billion.

Increase in exports and a surge in domestic demand were powering the recovery of the Indian economy, Mr. Reddy added.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 6:39:18 PM |

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